Candid letter to my readers

Two years spent in the serious land of the business of fashion turned me into a cynic.

Saturday February 13 2016

Two years spent in the serious land of the

Two years spent in the serious land of the business of fashion turned me into a cynic. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By CAROL ODERO
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Dear Reader,

It has been a rubbish four days of severe writer’s block. I stared at the laptop, listened to House, took a walk, drunk two litres of herbal tea – yes, I measured – made oats with chia seeds and

omelettes, showered, did yoga, slept, repeated, wrote a short story, tweeted, Instagrammed, Facebooked; heck I even went to G+, watched hours of inspiring YouTube videos.

Nothing. It was worse than walking into an empty closet five minutes before going live. I have been doing this exactly 10 years to date. Once I wrote three columns weekly for chrissakes.

Then it hit me. It really was that sudden. The block was actually quite personal. I was falling out of love with fashion. It has been a long journey from fluffy, easy things like orange is the new

black which was pink, how to wear a dress to the elegance of minimalism. But two years spent in the serious land of the business of fashion turned me into a cynic, perky naiveté.

Here I sat as Kenya begun to embrace fashion yet my intimate knowledge zoomed in on how the industry was not working. It smacked of exhaustion.

I knew it did not matter how brilliant my column idea was. I needed to fix this relationship. I don’t know about you, dear reader, how it goes for you on the other end. I wonder what you

make of my fashion tales. I wonder if these stories only exist in my brain.

Does my insider perspective mean I have to take our relationship really slow? Or I have to be patient and wait, and wait, and wait for the collective to catch up? Maybe I am sprinting instead

of taking the paced marathon route.

This is a tortuous place as you can tell. Where columns freeze before words form refusing to be pried open for conversation, rather like a sulky, silent boyfriend. Don’t you just hate those? I

question the weird position of being branded a fashion authority when finding fashion stories is like a wisdom tooth; sometimes it simply never grows out.

It isn’t our fault, really, dear reader, not mine or yours. Sometimes these things happen in relationships. We are both young. It is barely a century since the Kenyan fashion nut cracked. Like

any other relationship come outside voices.

You know what people say and possibly even you have told me this? We don’t want to make mistakes. We don’t want to be caught by the fashion police. We don’t know what to do. We don’

t care. It’s boring. It’s expensive.

Doesn’t that make you want to, I don’t know, punch something, scream or roll your eyes?

I love exploring and explorers. Other people’s social media pages will generously show you how much.

Thing is, I want there to be as many adventurers as possible. I want more young designers who don’t know any better to do crazy, insane things. I want more talking points.

Sauti Sol can’t be the only ambassadors for strange. I want big huge failure because it means epic success. Give me drama! Give me theatre! Woo me! Show me that fashion makes you,

reader, happy. Push and squeeze fashion for all it’s worth until it squeals. Don’t be plainly dressed on a contemplative bench!

What I can’t stand is the sameness. The stifling routineness of it all. What if we tried something, we never done before? Make it khanga tonight instead of black and red. What if we ditched

Ankara and ran away with that new yet to be discovered fabric?

What if we made men come along for the ride? What if we asked great grandmother what it was like for her to get dressed every morning? What if we visited all those places we said we

would like the backrooms of Rivatex? How I yearn for some exciting fashion. Anything to get me out of bed. Something I can huddle over with my readers, giggling over drinks. I know it

looks suspiciously like a threesome…., but it will work. Trust me. It’s what we need to recreate that zing. Right?

Happy Valentine’s.

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